By Josh Beckerman
AquaBounty Technologies Inc., which had its first commercial-scale harvest of genetically engineered salmon on its farm in Indiana this year, is on track to begin construction of a larger Ohio site d ‘by the end of the year.
The company estimates a project cost of $ 290 million to $ 320 million for the Pioneer, Ohio facility, including a potential contingency reserve of $ 30 million. As of July, the company planned to invest more than $ 200 million in the project. On Tuesday, he said the higher estimate reflects several factors, including the cost of construction materials and the technology of the recirculating aquaculture system.
AquaBounty’s capitalization plan includes the leverage effect of its equity contribution with debt. It initiated the process of placing a mix of tax-exempt and taxable bonds through the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, whose board of directors has approved the bond issuance. up to $ 300 million, the company said.
During this time, the company will transition from its grow-out farm operation in Prince Edward Island, Canada, to the production of traditional broodstock, roe and fry stocks, by no more genetically engineered salmon roe. This transition is expected to occur over the next two years and increase annual production capacity from 8 million eggs to 30 million eggs. Amid the growing demand for traditional salmon roe, the increase “should meet our own needs and create an additional source of income.”
The United States Food and Drug Administration approved the genetically modified salmon in 2016. The agency said the fish is safe for humans and animals. He also said the salmon would not have a significant impact on the environment, as factors such as containment measures resulted in an “extremely low probability” that the fish could escape and breed with wild salmon. .
AquaBounty says its “land operations have a lower carbon footprint with reduced transportation needs than Atlantic salmon that we import from other suppliers” and that the company “helps protect wild salmon populations and fish. native fisheries that are so important to native communities and others. “
Write to Josh Beckerman at [email protected]